Who’s to Blame For Last Minute FESTPAC Flurry?


Governor’s office has blamed the Legislature for “dropping the ball” with FESTPAC planning. The Legislature says the Executive Branch took too long to begin the execution phase of FESTPAC. 

Guam – The FESTPAC finger pointing has begun. Yesterday the Governor’s Special Assistant Chris Duenas blamed Speaker Judi Won Pat and the Democratic majority for forcing the Governor’s office to take over the planning of FESTPAC at the last minute. Today(Thurs.) the Speaker, Vice-Speaker and Senator Rory Respicio responded.


 On Newstalk K57 Chris Duenas told Travis Coffman on the Bigshow yesterday(Weds.) afternoon that the people who were originally in charge of FESTPAC dropped the ball. At first Duenas refused to specifically name anyone until Coffman pressed him for an answer.

 “I guess what I want to ask you is who do you want to blame? If you’re gonna blame somebody and then say I’m not gonna name names then why do it?” asked Coffman. “Travis if you want to become divisive I have no problem. I have no problem calling out members of the 31st and 32nd Guam legislature you can go and you can research the committees,” replied Duenas. “No, no, no I’m not gonna go and research the committees, I’m saying do you want to say it or not because if you want to say it say it,” responded Coffman. “You know we got 50 days Travis, to become divisive here but I will say it… Speaker Won Pat was a very key member of the 31st and 32nd Guam legislature who had responsibilities to do this Rory Respicio had his fingers in it the Vice-Speaker had his fingers in it that’s why I mentioned in terms of the bills and resolutions and laws they were trying to pass the majority has had this from the legislature for a long time,” said Duenas.

 Speaker Judi Won Pat responded today saying they did their part with the planning but the issue is one of execution. “To say that the original committee did nothing or dropped the ball is totally false,” said Speaker Won Pat.

 The Speaker says that the original committee did do a lot of planning but help was needed by the executive branch to begin the execution of the actual event.

 The Vice-Speaker agreed. “If Chris [Duenas] would check the Governor’s incoming mail in February of 2011, 2011 about two weeks after he was inaugurated the first time, I sent a letter to the Governor telling him about FESTPAC and the fact that I needed to have someone from the administration far up someone with authority to be able to move the agencies and to be able to move things assigned I even named the person that I was hoping that he was going to appoint. That was in 2011. He did not start to address this issue until 2015,” said Vice-Speaker Cruz adding, “The late attention to this effort is squarely in the front office in Adelup because in 2011 I asked for assistance and it wasn’t provided until mid 2015.”

 Senator Respicio also took exception to the finger pointing. “So when the administration makes those kinds of comments that it was the legislature’s fault or if someone did something sooner I think that’s a distraction and I think it’s unfortunate but my support for FESTPAC is unequivocal,” said Senator Respicio.

 The Speaker says despite the bickering she too fully supports FESTPAC and she’s confident that in the end Guam as a whole will pull it off. “And that’s one thing great about us as a people is that we really do come together at a time when we really need to so I know we will do very well we’re gonna shine,” said Speaker Won Pat.

 All eyes will be on Guam come May 22nd but the Speaker is confident that the island will pull it off.